I wouldn’t say that I am necessarily fussy when it comes to reading and I certainly would give anything I try. If you had asked me a month or so ago if I had read every type of book there is, I would have likely answered ‘yes’ (although exaggerated). That was until I came across Strungballs and realised there is a whole new level of book genres just waiting for me to explore.
Strungballs by Mike Russell may be one of the strangest books out there. It follows the story of Sydney, a ten-year-old boy who is about to have his first cube of flesh removed. The flesh will be placed with the flesh of the city’s other inhabitants in a big sphere used to protect them from the “Others”. Sydney will receive a Strungball, a red ball on white string, as a replacement for the flesh…
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This week’s poem is Don Paterson’s Poetry.
In the same way that the mindless diamond keeps one spark of the planet's early fires trapped forever in its net of ice, it's not love's later heat that poetry holds, but the atom of the love that drew it forth from the silence: so if the bright coal of his love begins to smoulder, the poet hears his voice suddenly forced, like a bar-room singer's -- boastful with his own huge feeling, or drowned by violins; but if it yields a steadier light, he knows the pure verse, when it finally comes, will sound like a mountain spring, anonymous and serene. Beneath the blue oblivious sky, the water sings of nothing, not your name, not mine.
B. T. B.
Who ran away from his Nurse, and was eaten by a Lion.
There was a Boy whose name was Jim;
His Friends were very good to him.
They gave him Tea, and Cakes, and Jam,
And slices of delicious Ham,
And Chocolate with pink inside,
And little Tricycles to ride,
read him Stories through and through,
And even took him to the Zoo—
But there it was the dreadful Fate
Befell him, which I now relate.
You know—at least you ought to know.
For I have often told you so—
That Children never are allowed
To leave their Nurses in a Crowd;
Now this was Jim’s especial Foible,
He ran away when he was able,
And on this inauspicious day
He slipped his hand and ran away!
He hadn’t gone a yard when—
With open Jaws, a Lion sprang,
And hungrily began to eat
The Boy: beginning at his feet.
Now just imagine how it feels
When first your toes and then your heels,
And then by gradual degrees,
Your shins and ankles, calves and knees,
Are slowly eaten, bit by bit.
No wonder Jim detested it!
No wonder that he shouted “Hi!”
The Honest Keeper heard his cry,
Though very fat
he almost ran
To help the little gentleman.
“Ponto!” he ordered as he came
(For Ponto was the Lion’s name),
“Ponto!” he cried,
with angry Frown.
“Let go, Sir! Down, Sir! Put it down!”
The Lion made a sudden Stop,
He let the Dainty Morsel drop,
And slunk reluctant to his Cage,
Snarling with Disappointed Rage
But when he bent him over Jim,
The Honest Keeper’s
Eyes were dim.
The Lion having reached his Head,
The Miserable Boy was dead!
When Nurse informed his Parents, they
Were more Concerned than I can say:—
His Mother, as She dried her eyes,
Said, “Well—it gives me no surprise,
He would not do as he was told!”
His Father, who was self-controlled,
Bade all the children round attend
To James’ miserable end,
And always keep a-hold of Nurse
For fear of finding something worse.
A new painting – Brusho paint and ink.
This is actually a colour version of the acrylic/ink painting below:
I use chance methods to create my drawings and paintings – I’d love to hear from others who do the same!